Texas was back home on Wednesday evening, and the Longhorns are now back in the win column after 62-49 win over Northern Colorado.
Here are a few quick thoughts from Texas’ second win of the season.
Prepare yourself for a lot of these less-than-exciting blowout wins. In particular, throughout the rest of non-conference action. Gonzaga was the game of the non-conference schedule, Seton Hall should be a great early test, and Stanford will be alright, but overall, this is what things will look like for Texas until New Years Day when Big 12 play begins. On one hand, this will allow the team plenty of time to gel without any real risk of losing, which means the wins will add up, but it also means this group won’t really get tested enough to get a real feel for who they are when it matters. And, of course, the underwhelming schedule makes for underwhelming entertainment, for the chosen few actually invested in Texas hoops.
Tre Mitchell starting is a good thing. I wasn’t sure why Mitchell hasn’t started from the onset, especially against Gonzaga and their size, considering Mitchell is one of the more skilled talents on the team, and especially in the paint. He has a little something in his offensive bag and scores efficiently, as he displayed with his 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and he actually has size, which Texas will absolutely need in Big 12 play. On a team with several guys who can go and get a bucket, he’s one of the better options, so the more he’s involved, the better Texas should be for it.
Texas is going to need Andrew Jones before too long. After just five points in 17 minutes on Saturday, Jones added only four points on Wednesday, struggling from the field with a 1-of-8 shooting effort, including three misses from deep. From not really involved against Gonzaga to not hitting shots against Northern Colorado, this probably isn’t how Jones envisioned his senior season starting. He’s too good of a player for this kind of slump to last too long, but Texas is going to need him to be a much better version of himself is they’re going to be the best version of he Longhorns.
Is Texas a little boring? I guess you could say winning is always fun, and Texas will win more than a few games this year. But in terms of sheer entertainment value, this group hasn’t quite moved the needle yet. I guess it’s a little more of a stark contrast when it was only last year that Kai Jones, Greg Brown III, Jericho Sims, and even the flashy Matt Coleman headlined a group that lived on SportsCenter’s Top 10, but the lack of flash and offensive excitement has been pretty noticeable.
No, the game wasn’t as close as the score. I initially called it a blowout win in the intro with Texas leading by 23 points with fewer than four minutes remaining. But when Chris Beard emptied the bench, getting guys like Avery Benson and Tristen Licon some action, Colorado clawed back a bit to make the loss a little more respectable. So, if you didn’t see the game live, don’t panic thinking Texas struggled to deal with the Big Sky Bears.